Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Victimization Among Young Adults in the New York City Metropolitan Area: The P18 Cohort Study


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Abstract

Sexual and gender minority populations are significantly more likely to experience verbal and physical victimization in young adulthood. These analyses examine the types, contexts, and sources of lifetime sexual orientation and gender identity victimization (SGV) in a diverse sample of sexual minority men (SMM) and transgender women as well as the extent to which experiences of SGV vary among subgroups of the population. Cross-sectional data were collected as part of a study of sexual health, mental health, and HIV examined through the lens of syndemic production in young SMM. Measures assessed sociodemographic characteristics as well as the types, sources, and contexts of physical assault and verbal harassment due to actual or perceived gender or sexuality. Verbal harassment was more prevalent in the sample than physical assault (44.5% vs. 11.6%). Schools or sports teams and neighborhoods were the most common contexts for verbal and physical SGV. Strangers were the most frequent perpetrators of SGV, followed by family and peers. Bivariate analyses showed significant differences in SGV based on race, education, perceived familial SES, sexual identity, and borough of residence. In multivariate analyses, race, SES, sexual identity, and borough of residence were significant predictors of verbal SGV. Findings suggest that SGV experiences are not uniform in sexual minority young adults, and thus prevention and care must be targeted. Understanding the multiple identities of sexual minority young adults who experience greater levels of victimization can allow for policy and interventions to best support those at risk.

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